The faculty today could not have been more explicit in the role that communication has in patient safety. As John Nance effectively displayed by a show of hands, there have been virtually no medical errors that have not had some type of communication breakdown.
So where does this leave me, the staff nurse, who wants to identify ways to improve communication in my own practice? A moment of brainstorming and I see multiple opportunities in which I can and should do better. No longer should it be acceptable for me to receive verbal orders from physicians as they are running down a hallway with me chasing after them, no longer should I accept RN to RN reports at the loud and busy nursing station that should be conducted at the bedside, and the list goes on.
Ultimately, my hospital has communication standards in place and it is no longer acceptable… Continue reading
What struck me about the Lewis Blackman video was the palpable helplessness you could hear in Helen Haskell’s voice as she described what is was like to find herself in a situation in which she was stripped of her role as parent and primary care giver to her son and watch a health care team fail her at every step. She entrusted her “lifework” to a group of medical professionals and witnessed their missteps that lead to the loss of her son while she was left powerless and frustrated with not being able to properly escalate the care that she intuitively felt he needed.
As mentioned in our discussion, this story is not a singular experience, but a reality of our flawed health care system. What I find interesting is that hospitals have now undertaken the process of empowering patients and their families to speak… Continue reading